December 16, 2018

The truth won the debate

Will Trump act more presidential? Will he tone down his reckless, impulsive side? Will he demonstrate knowledge of the issues? Will Hillary show a more human face? Will she look less calculating and more spontaneous?

These and other questions dominated the news coverage heading into last night’s Super Bowl-like presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

All of these questions came down to this one point: What will it take for either of the candidates to “win” the debate?

So, naturally, the post analyses followed the same track: Did the candidates do what it takes to win? Did they put on the right face to attract the voters they need?

To which I respond: Thank God they didn’t!

Why would I want Donald Trump to put on another face? Why would I want him to act like someone he’s not? If he’s really a bully, or not very knowledgeable on the issues, why would I want him to hide that from me?

And why would I want Hillary to show me a more human, spontaneous look, or to level with me in absolute candor?  If her natural style is to be supremely composed and calculating, why would I want her to hide that from me?

In other words, if I’m doing due diligence on the candidates so I can make an informed decision, don’t I want them to show me who they really are?

If that's the point of the debates – to show us who the candidates really are – last night was a resounding victory for the truth. Trump was his reckless, bullying self. Clinton was her composed, wicked-smart self. Who they are is what we saw.

And yet, no one seemed to mention this during the post-debate analyses. It was all, still, about the horse race: Who won? Who lost? What did they fail to do? What will they need to do in the future?

Who cares? I don’t want to see sneaky candidates who will fool me so they can win. I want to see their true face, and I don’t want any brilliant consultant to hide any of that from me.

That’s why last night, it wasn’t only the truth that won, it was the voters.

David Suissa is president of TRIBE Media Corp./Jewish Journal and can be reached at